West Mercia Police now has the highest levels of diversity amongst officers and staff than at any point in its history. Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion has welcomed the news as part of his commitment to increase officer numbers, and ensure the force is representative of the communities it serves.
3% of officers come from ethnic minority backgrounds, and 34% are female. Across the workforce as a whole, 2.9% are from ethnic minority backgrounds, while 46% are female.
This reflects an increase of new officers recruited being female, up from 30% in 2019/20 to 43% in 2020/21. The amount of new officers from ethnic minority backgrounds also rose, from 2.1% to 7.5%, over the same period.
3.8% of the population of Herefordshire, Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin and Worcestershire are from ethnic minority backgrounds, and over half of the population is female. West Mercia Police continues to be ambitious in their plans for representation.
Commissioner John Campion said: “I committed to ensuring the public have a diverse police force, reflective of the communities they serve. I am glad that West Mercia Police is ambitious about this, and whilst there is still some way to go, this is a fantastic step forward. We have 400 more officers than when I was first elected, and this continuing recruitment will ensure the people of Herefordshire, Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin and Worcestershire can expect the very best from their police force.”
Rachel Hartland Lane, Director of Business Services at West Mercia Police, said: “It is great to see that the appetite for thousands to join the police service nationwide has continued despite the coronavirus pandemic, with our online assessment processes, virtual career fairs and Positive Action workshops continuing to run safely during lockdown.
“It is fantastic that our police force is now more diverse than ever before, but we know there is still more work to do to on this front. We know we have more work to do with our black communities, for example, and I will continue working with teams across the organisation and within our communities to ensure our force is truly representative of the communities we serve.
“I want to thank everyone in the force for their considerable efforts to help us exceed our target for police officer recruitment. It was no mean feat to attract, recruit, support, train and tutor 395 student officers in 2019/20 and a further 195 in the last financial year. Well done to everyone involved.”
For more information on careers with West Mercia Police, go to www.westmercia.police.uk/careers.